Taxi for Nick Robinson

Despite a shaky start to the year, the BBC‘s Nick Robinson didn’t cock-up during the election like some were expecting him to do. The fact that both Labour and Tory activists were complaining about his bias towards the other probably means he was pretty even-handed. Either way his future as Political Editor is being widely speculated upon, with some suggesting that he will be heading to Newsnight or the Today program. Which leaves a very coveted role up for grabs.

Four names see to be doing the rounds already. Mandrake tips ITV‘s Tom “Gordon’s weird” Bradby, though he would have a fight on his hands against the BBC‘s feisty Laura Kuenssberg who has won over many a fan in the last few months. Jon Sopel also had a very good election. Getting out from behind the news desk on the Campaign Show was key and he does a solid interview. Other wild card contenders with a shot have to be C4‘s Cathy Newman, though as with Adam Boulton at Sky, she is arguably too associated with the C4 News brand.

The jump from reporting up to broader analysis and comment would traditionally have been done on experience, but this race is wide open. The knives are being sharpened behind Robinson’s back. As he once said – that’ll teach him…

+ + + Eric Illsley MP Charged With False Accounting + + +

Eric Illsley the Labour MP for Barnsley Central has been summoned to Westminister Magistrates for three charges of false accounting in his expenses.

Oink.

UPDATE: Seems there was some discrepancy in council tax claims. Illsley claimed £10,000 over four years  for a Lambeth Band C property. The cost was barely half that.

Evidence Based Blogging

Everything you need to know really.

Graphic via Stephen Bray

Simple Simon Uncut

Ex-Labour MP Sion Simon has launched a new mulit-authored blog “Labour Uncut” to cover the leadership race. The grassroots are well represented with posts from Benjamin Wegg-Prosser and John McTernan.  It won’t be too hard for it to be more successful than Simon’s last foray into the digital world. So far the blog is a bit of an elongated yawn.

This is not the first time Simon has attempted to providing insight and comment though. Regular readers will remember his infamous September 2007 New Statesman article:

“Shortly there will be an election, in which Labour will increase its majority, and in so doing utterly shatter the glass paradigm of cyclical politics which has contained us for the century since 1906. This ought to herald another decade of strong, confident, consensual Labour government.

For, that, indeed, is what this madness is: it’s the hour that we see that the march never ends. We’ve learned that we cannot be killed. And we’ve come to accept that we’ll never go home.”

With such a shrewd analysis and the gift of such foresight, the website is going to be a must read…

The Spectre of Sovereign Collapse Haunts Europe

Most of the non-financial Dead Tree Press has been so focused on the election that they haven’t noticed that Europe’s financial markets are in meltdown, the euro is plunging and a spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of sovereign collapse. All the powers of old Euro have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre:
The latest down-payment for the euro-project is a €14.5 billion bail-out of Greece propped up by Germany, France, Italy, Spain and six other EU countries.  The German banking sector is thought to have a €34 billion exposure to Greece, panic has hit not just the euro, but the banks hitherto lauded by the likes of Will Hutton as paragons of financial rectitude so unlike the risk-taking City of London.

The German authorities are in panic and have banned short-selling in Allianz, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Postbank – the most blue chip of German banking pride – in a move which will surely see foreign investors sell their holdings it has already driven the euro to a four-year low overnight.  The euro project is built to fail without a unified fiscal and tax regime, sooner or late, as eurosceptics have predicted from the outset, the euro will be torn apart.

Euro politicians are now blaming speculators – a sure sign that they want to shoot the messenger – speculators are the harbingers of economic reality, not the creators.  The euro is at a four-year low for good economic reasons, not because traders are shorting it.

Britain is spared this financial contagion as it stands in splendid isolation from the European Central Bank.  Let us hear no more from europhiles on the laughable “stability” that joining the euro will bring.

Quote of the Day

Jon Cruddas says…

“I’ve known David Miliband for twenty years, I’ve known Ed Balls for twenty years, but I don’t know what they stand for.”

Ed Balls Campaign Diary*

One down, four to go. I knew Cruddas would crack when I sent Chris Leslie round with the file. A little show and tell of CCTV footage and old Jon soon looked into his heart and realised he didn’t want to stand after all. That little girl Burnham is next.

Sick to the back teeth of creeping around the brain-dead lobby fodder the PLP have been left with. After having to listen to Harman drone on all day the last thing you want to do is spend the night pressing the flesh in the Strangers bar with that lot. Not sure how many nights I can keep it up – nobody bought me a beer.

To make matters worse got home, sans ministerial car, what do I get? No dinner and that four-eyed prick Crick on Newsnight claiming that I might not be able to get enough signatures for my nomination. What the hell does he know? It’s not like anyone has ever answered the phone to him. That f****r has been on my case for too long.

On the up side, I did grease up to Bercow and he was re-elected, worth it to get that drunk he married to back me on Twitter. Had lunch with Stan Greenberg, he said he has a plan for tacking to the left now Cruddas is out of the way, though he’s got some explaining to do after telling me it would be a breeze in Morley.

The big announcement is planned for tomorrow.  I will be leader.

(*As leaked to Guido)

Anyone for Bingo?

As the rush for seats, desks and bag-carriers makes way for the start of a new school term, spare a moment for one newbie MP who doesn’t seem too fussed about being sworn in to her recently won office or taking part in her ancient constitutional duty to elect the Speaker.

Chi Onwurah, Labour’s Newcastle newbie, asked at a meeting of the new MPs last week whether attendance today was strictly compulsory as she already had somewhere better to be. It turns out she had been asked to call the bingo numbers in her constituency.

Clearly the Commons was not quite the House she had in mind…

Farm-gate: Mr Spelman’s Tricky Contract

Further to Guido’s revelations that the new Defra Secretary of State Caroline Spelman is tied up with the bio-tech/agri-business lobbying company “Spelman, Cormack & Associates”, that she co-founded with her husband Mark, Farmers Weekly have unravelled more decisions Spelman must […]

+ READ MORE +

+ + + CPI Rose To 3.7% in April + + +

UPDATE : With inflation so high surely any thought of hiking VAT, which is inflationary, has to be discarded…[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Case for Speaker Ming

Iain Dale reports that Ming Campbell is to throw his hat into the ring if and when the ‘Noes’ challenge the Speaker’s confirmation this afternoon.

Speakers-OfficeThis changes the dynamics of the situation greatly, Ming is respected across the benches, and […]

+ READ MORE +

Ed Balls Campaign Diary*

David Miliband has now re-launched his leadership campaign “formally”, what imaginary formality is that?  The skinny wonker has delusions of grandeur derived from still having bodyguards.  By my count that makes three “Miliband for leader” launches in the last week.  […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour MP Jamie Reed:

“I apologise to every man, woman and child in this country who needs a Labour government.”

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